Emotional Regulation is often called Self-Regulation because it’s something we do or don’t do ourselves. Self-Regulation includes the ability to regulate reactions to strong emotions, calm down after something exciting or upsetting, focus on a task or decision, refocus attention, control impulses, get along with people calmly, and act in your own best interest even when feelings suggest taking a different action.
Self-Regulation is necessary to learn and focus, stick with difficult tasks, consider other peoples perspectives and see things from both sides, interact appropriately, problem-solve, manage difficult or tricky situations, make long-range decisions, think things through, and learn to adjust in new situations.
So if Self-Regulation has not being properly learned, what has happened instead of learning Self-Regulation? The answer is very likely that Dysregulation is what is occurring.
Self-Regulation usually begins developing in childhood, and improves as it is practiced and improved in adolescence and adulthood. But, it can be learned at any age.
In an ideal situation children learn Self-Regulation through warm and responsive relationships and watching the adults around them. However, sustained stress over an extended period of time can interrupt and even completely disrupt this normal learning of Self-Regulation.
Sustained stress over an extended period of time could include poverty, racism, illness - both physical or mental, abuse, feelings of threat, etc. This sustained stress over an extended period of time causes a brain injury.
If this has happened and Dysregulation is happening instead of Self-Regulation, what does this mean and can this be fixed?
YES, you can learn Self-Regulation at any age!!!
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I’m Lynda Wright, a certified life coach living in Cape Town, South Africa. I help fix unstable emotions so you can become the confident, capable and courageous person you are meant to be! Get in touch:
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